Tax

Some of the most experienced tax litigators at the Bar are members of Devereux Chambers. We have a wealth of litigation experience across the fields of direct and indirect tax, contributions and duties, investigations, proceeds of crime and professional negligence. We have a detailed knowledge of, and feel for, the preparation and presentation of these difficult and sensitive cases and their evidential requirements. We are particularly familiar with advice and litigation about taxation of employees, service companies, agencies and employment businesses, entertainers and sports personalities, tax avoidance and evasion issues, capital allowances, statutory investigation powers and assessment procedures.

Our tax group includes two leading silks (Timothy Brennan QC and Jonathan Fisher QC), each of them previously standing Counsel to the Inland Revenue, and a number of experienced juniors. Our silks have particular expertise in handling individual and corporate domicile and residence litigation, both for and against taxpayers, as well as in contentious cases where HMRC pursue taxpayers in respect of alleged tax avoidance or evasion.

Timothy Brennan QC has appeared in scores of reported cases, 14 in the House of Lords  and Supreme Court, many at all the lower levels of appeal, as well as in Strasbourg. They cover a wide range of taxation topics, particularly in the fields of employment taxation, tax avoidance, corporate residence, statutory investigation powers and capital allowances. They include the Supreme Court appeal of Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher [2011] UKSC 41, [2011] ICR 1157  (employment status, 'sham' contracts); the ECHR case of  Yukos v Russia [2011] STC 1988 (tax fraud, Art 6, Art 1 Protocol 1), R (Prudential plc) v Special Commissioner [2010] EWCA Civ 1094, [2010] STC 2802 (statutory investigations; legal professional privilege) and HM Revenue & Customs v Smallwood [2010] EWCA Civ 778, [2010] STC 2045 (tax avoidance through double tax treaties).

Jonathan Fisher QC is a widely recognized tax practitioner. He was involved in R (on the application of Lunn) v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2011] EWHC 240 (Admin); [2011] S.T.C. 1028 in the Administrative Court; the case successfully challenged HMRC’s failure to act fairly and to give reasons when terminating the status of authorised tax agent.  He is a Chartered Tax Adviser, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, an accredited Trusts and Estates Practitioner and an Editorial Board Member of Simon’s Taxes. He is particularly known for his work in contentious tax cases (civil and criminal), investigations and disclosure cases where avoidance or evasion issues are involved.

Jolyon Maugham is a leading Tax junior, recommended in both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK directories for his work in this area. He has a specialist litigation practice focused on the fields of direct and indirect tax, with particular expertise in 'scheme' transactions, intangible property, legitimate expectation, abuse of rights, film financing and employment taxation. Recent cases include Eclipse Film Partners No 35 LLP [2012] UKFTT 270 (TC), Vaccine Research Limited Partnership [2013] UKFTT 73 (TC) and Patrick Degorce [2013] UKFTT 178 (TC) all acting on behalf of the claimant in the First Tier Tax Tribunal and R (oao Cameron) v HMRC [2012] EWHC 1174 (Admin) on behalf of the claimant in the Administrative Court. Jolyon also appeared unled in the most important avoidance case of 2012, the £300m Icebreaker litigation (decision awaited). Jolyon holds the distinction of being the only specialist tax counsel appointed by the Attorney-General to the "A" Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.

Akash Nawbatt is on the Attorney General’s “A” Panel of Counsel and has represented Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and taxpayers in tax disputes before the Tax Tribunals, the High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and the Supreme Court. Akash has particular expertise in the taxation of employment income; individual, corporate and treaty residence and domicile; judicial review; and assessments, discoveries and penalties. Recent cases include: R (Gaines-Cooper) v HMRC (2011, Supreme Court – Residence Judicial Review); Kuehne & Nagel Drinks Logistics v HMRC (2012, Court of Appeal – Taxation of Employment Income); R (Daniel) v HMRC (2012, Court of Appeal – Residence Judicial Review); HMRC v Charlton (2012, Upper Tribunal – Validity of Discovery Assessments); McLaren Racing Ltd v HMRC (2013, Upper Tribunal – Tax Treatment of a Regulatory Penalty) and Mertrux v HMRC (2013, Court of Appeal – taxation of goodwill).

We are proud of our excellent reputation for client-focused service. Our approach to business has been praised by many of our clients who have often commented on our effectiveness and approachability.